Brady Akins (Contributor)
With how explosive Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense has been all season, it may take a game plan that keeps the Baltimore offense off the field as long as possible for Tennessee to pull off the upset.
Fortunately, the Titans have an offense that can hold the ball for long stretches if need be. Derrick Henry and the offensive line looked dominant in the team’s first playoff game against the Patriots, and Tennessee focused on keeping the ball on the ground which resulted in long possessions.
If the Titans can have early success with the running game and keep from giving the ball back to the Ravens, they might be able to dictate the tempo of the game and limit Jackson’s impact. The problem is, he’ll have to take the field eventually, and he and the Ravens offense have been taking advantage of stronger defenses than Tennessee’s all season.
That, with the fact that Baltimore’s starters have had multiple weeks to rest and prepare for the playoffs, has me feeling worried. I think with Henry’s impact on offense, Tennessee will be able to move the ball. But Baltimore also has a defense ranked top five in points and yards allowed and the Titans won’t be able to find the end zone reliably.
Tennessee’s rushing game and Dean Pees’ success against Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman will keep this game closer than many people think. However, Baltimore just has too much talent on offense and too dominant a defense for the Titans to keep pace all 60 minutes.
Final score prediction: Ravens 30, Titans 21